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Ministry of Education.


Students write about selected issues exploring various points of view.

Learning Outcomes | Teaching and Learning | Assessment and Evaluation | Printing Version

Writer: Mike Fowler
Year level 11
Who are my learners and what do they already know? See  Planning Using Inquiry
School curriculum outcomes How your school’s principles, values, or priorities will be developed through this unit

Learning Outcomes

 (What do my students need to learn)

Curriculum achievement objectives (AOs) for:  

Processes and strategies

Integrate sources of information, processes, and strategies purposefully and confidently to identify, form, and express increasingly sophisticated ideas:

  •  creates a range of increasingly varied and complex texts by integrating sources of information and processing strategies
  • seeks feedback and makes changes to texts to improve clarity, meaning, and effect


Select, develop, and communicate connected ideas on a range of topics.

  • ideas show an understanding and awareness of a range of dimensions or viewpoints.

Language feature

Select and use a range of language features appropriately for a variety of effects.

  • uses a wide range of text conventions, including grammatical and spelling conventions, appropriately, effectively, and with accuracy.


Organise texts, using a range of appropriate, effective structures.

  • achieves a sense of coherence and wholeness when constructing texts
Achievement Standard(s) aligned to AO(s) 1.5 Produce formal writing

Teaching and Learning

 (What do I need to know and do?)

1-2 related professional readings or links to relevant research

Effective Practices in Teaching Writing in NZ Secondary Schools 

Planning Using Inquiry

English Teaching and Learning Guide 

About the NCEA rules and procedures

Learning task 1

Learning intention(s)

 Establishing prior learning; building understandings about this text type

KCs/ Principles/Values focus


 Use language, symbols and texts – exploring features of expository texts

Learning task 1

Yes ... but: exploring different aspects of a topic

  1. In this activity you will present more than one viewpoint on an issue you select. You will develop your ideas in a piece of formal writing by presenting more than one perspective on an issue. 
This rationale is behind the title of this activity: "Yes....But"" - "Yes, I agree with the point of view expressed in the topic;" 
"But, on the other hand, this point of view should be considered too."
  2. Read exemplar A on the topic 'boy racers should be banned from our roads.' Look at how exemplar A is structured as follows:
    • an introduction engaging the reader [in this case, with a brief scenario exploring what the issue might mean for a fictional individual]: eg: "As you drift off to sleep, the silence is shattered by roaring exhausts, screeching tyres, and booming car stereos..."
    • a 'Yes' paragraph supporting the topic: eg: "Boy racers should be banned because they are irresponsible and dangerous."
    • a 'But' paragraph presenting another viewpoint on the topic: eg: "On the other hand, an interest in cars does not necessarily go hand in hand with irresponsible behaviour on the road."
    • a paragraph presenting ways of tackling the issue: eg: "One way of approaching the boy racer issue could be to take a positive approach."
    • a conclusion that makes a final comment on the topic: eg: "The majority of young people in cars do not deserve that description and therefore should be treated as responsible road users."

Making the right connections

  1. You have looked at a structure overview showing how ideas can be developed. Now consider how connecting words and phrases can be incorporated to develop ideas. Look at exemplar A where the connectives used are highlighted. Keep in mind how you can develop ideas by using connectives.

Learning task 2

Learning intention(s)

 Drafting and polishing writing.

KCs/ Principles/Values focus


Thinking – explore texts

Relate to others – peer discussion

Learning task 2

Framing topics

  1. Look at issues raised in newspapers, magazines, or on the internet. Reading around an issue. Spend some time becoming informed about issues that interest you by completing some reading and research,
  2. List several issues your class has found. Develop them into statements or propositions that could then be developed using a 'yes...but' structure. For example, an issue like "boy racers" has been framed as a topic in task 1: "boy racers should be banned from our roads."
  3. Talk about different points of view that could be included when writing about several of these topics.

Building in information from other sources

  1. You should incorporate two or three pieces of information from sources that you can refer to in your essay along with your ideas and views.
  2. Look at exemplar A. Talk about how the writer has integrated information from other sources eg:
    • " ...in a documentary called 'Point of Impact', a young Chinese student was killed..."
    • "...in an article in The Press about young people who work hard and enjoy spending their money on developing their cars to a high standard..."

Note than the student includes several of their own ideas. This is the approach you will use in your writing

Learning task 3

Learning intention(s)

 Drafting and polishing writing.

KCs/ Principles/Values focus


Use language, symbols and texts – structure and express understandings

Learning task 3

Drafting a piece of writing on a topic you have selected

Look over exemplar A as well as 1.5 exemplars. Talk about what aspects are successful and what aspects could be developed further.

Look for two or three pieces of information from other sources that you could build in to your writing.

Develop a piece of writing on a topic you have selected. Follow the same structure as used in exemplar A. Include:

  1. an introduction
  2. a body with a 'yes.. but' structure, as well as a paragraph suggesting how to tackle the issue
  3. a conclusion.
  4. You could also adapt the ‘yes…but’ structure. You might decide to present several ideas which together help develop one point of view on an issue.
  5. Use connectives to develop ideas. Write at least 350 words. You may not include material from the exemplars in your own writing.

Read your writing aloud to help identify parts of the writing that require reworking, then complete the first set of revisions.

Prior to writing the final draft, return to the assessment schedule and the exemplars to decide which changes or additions are needed for the final draft.

Begin developing the final draft. You should view this as much more than a proof reading exercise, although you should improve on technical accuracy in grammar, spelling and punctuation. This is an opportunity to craft and reshape - to polish your sentences and to try forming some sentences in different ways in order to improve them.

Complete a final version.

Assessment and Evaluation

 (What is the impact of my teaching and learning?)

Formative and/or Summative assessment task(s), including how will feedback be provided 1.5 Produce formal writing. Refer to the assessment schedule

Provision for identifying next learning steps for students who need:

  • further learning opportunities
  • increased challenge

This piece of writing should be an integrated part of the year’s writing programme. Refer to

English Teaching and Learning Guide 

Conditions of Assessment Guidelines for formal writing

Effective Practices in Teaching Writing in NZ Secondary Schools

for more details.

Tools or ideas which, for example might be used to evaluate:

  • progress of the class and groups within it
  • student engagement

leading to :

  • changes to the sequence
  • addressing teacher learning needs
See:  Planning Using Inquiry

Printing this unit:

If you are not able to access the zipped files, please download the following individual files.

Published on: 26 Nov 2010